(I. Timothy 5:17), “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
The word “respect” means “to regard with honor; to have a high opinion of; to place a great value upon; to reverence; to submit to the judgment or authority of another.” We have been studying on the subject of “the importance of having respect for the things of God.” Thus far we have studied, “The Importance of Having a Proper Respect of God.” Without a proper respect for God, the holy things of God and the standards in a church decrease while sin and compromise will increase. Then we studied “The Importance of Respecting the Word of God.” Without a proper respect for the Word of God, you will never have a proper respect for God, because God has placed His Word above His name. Furthermore, without a proper respect for the Word of God, you will not receive its teachings as the authoritative Word of God. In short, if you do not believe the Word of God, you are not going to listen to God, the Pastor, your Sunday School Teacher, or any others who teach the Word of God. Thirdly we studied “The Importance of Respecting the House of God.” Without a proper respect for the house of God you begin to treat the house of God unholy and begin treating it like a social organization, sports center, or an entertainment club. When proper respect for the house of God is lost so is reverence and holy living before God. In this message I want us to take a look at “The Importance of Respecting the Man of God, the Pastor.”
- WHY SHOULD WE RESPECT THE MAN OF GOD
The man of God, the pastor of the church is to be respected firstly because of the “calling of God upon the man of God.” God’s men are divinely appointed. (Acts 20:28), “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers…” (Ephesians 4:11), “And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers.” The man of God is called by God and given to the local church as a gift by God and the church is to respect the man of God, the Pastor, because of the “call of God upon his life.” Secondly, the man of God is to be respected because of the “command of God to the church of God.” God’s word teaches that God’s man, the pastor, is to be respected. (Philippians 2:29), “…hold such in reputation” (I. Thessalonians 5:12-13), “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” (I. Timothy 5:17), “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in word and doctrine.” The man of God is to be respected because of the call of God upon his life and the command by God to the church of God.
- WAYS WE SHOULD RESPECT THE MAN OF GOD
There are several ways the Word of God teaches you should and can respect the man of God, your pastor. Firstly, by “providing for the man of God.” (Galatians 6:6), ‘Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” (I. Corinthians 9:14), “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach of the gospel should live of the gospel.” (I. Timothy 5:17-18), “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the labourer is worthy of his reward.” Secondly, by “following the man of God.” (Hebrews 13:7), “Remember them that have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” Thirdly, “by obeying and submitting to the man of God.” (Hebrews 13:17), “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Fourthly, by “addressing the man of God properly.” The man of God should never be called by his first name unless it is preceded by “Brother or Pastor.” Always speak to the man of God first and not wait for him to come to you. Teach your children to respect the man of God by always speaking highly of the man of God in front of your children, teach your children to always speak to the man of God first, teach your children by showing courtesy to the man of God’s wife, and teach your children to never bring an false accusation against the man of God.
- WEALTH OF RESPECTING THE MAN OF GOD
The Word of God teaches that God will bless and enrich the life of the saint of God who hears and obeys the teachings of the Word of God. When it comes to respecting the man of God, this is true also. Some of the blessings that come to a saint of God’s life when they respect the man of God is their faith will be edified (built up and made stronger), because they are obeying the Word of God. Secondly, their character will be purified because respect and submissiveness was the character of the Lord Jesus. Thirdly, their heart will be solidified and they will become like a tree planted by the waters that cannot be moved by the storms of life. Fourthly, their life will be sanctified and make useable for the glory of God. And then there is the wonderful testimony they will have, the unity their church will enjoy, and the honor they bring to God, in addition to many more blessings. Are you showing respect to your man of God?
Pastor Allen Jackson